Khattar to officials: follow WCD suggestions on child marriage

Chandigarh: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today directed officials of concerned departments to act as per the suggestions made by Women and Child Development Department on prohibition of child marriage.

A spokesperson of the WCD department said the study conducted in association with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, offered various suggestions to prohibit child marriage in the state.

The suggestions included efforts to bring about a change in attitude of the people by the government machinery, non-government organisations (NGOs) working for women and children, community-based organisations and the media.

The spokesperson further said the media could also be used to change the mindset of people with the help of street plays, poster campaigns, television documentaries, SMS campaigns, radio shows and printed articles.

Other suggestions include spread of legal literacy through wide dissemination of information about the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, and other related laws.

Besides, a few suggestions like promotion of access to education, which would provide girls with increased livelihood options, and financial assistance to girls for education through more scholarships and schemes could be considered, he added.

The study also suggested that efforts be made to spread awareness about the existing state schemes providing financial assistance for the education and marriage of the girl child, promoting an atmosphere of security for girls, compulsory registration of birth and marriages and making Panchayat members responsible for reporting child marriages.

Further, the report laid emphasis on the need for regular tracking and follow-up of children whose marriages have been prohibited to ensure that no further attempts are made to marry them off before they attain maturity and provide emotional support and counselling to them and their families.